A critical factor to good strength training is hydrating before, during, and after your workouts. As we all know, water is vital for all your bodily functions and makes up 75% of our skeletal muscle. Make no excuses, always plan out your water intake, because it can be very dangerous for your body to “dehydrate”.
So how much water should we drink per day and in what form?
The standard has always been 8 to 12 eight-ounce glasses of water in a 24 hour period of just plain water! This means you do not have to drink expensive imported water with vitamins and minerals and other additives. This does not include liquids such as tea and juice – they do not count as a glass of plain water! (And don’t forget that caffeinated drinks will actually dehydrate you at a faster rate so avoid them during a high intensity workout).
If you are participating in intense vigorous exercise programs, it is recommended you drink one gallon (96 ounces) of water each day and more as you need it during your strength training workout. If you are trying to reduce your body fat, then chilled water has the advantage because the body will have to “work” and actually burn more calories to raise the water temperature to your core temperature.
However, drinking water at room temperature is absorbed much more quickly into the body. Everyone has their preference so experiment and find out what temperature of water is delivered the fastest into your system because that is what it is all about – the delivery system and staying hydrated so as to avoid dehydration at all cost. If you do not, you may ruin a perfectly good high intensity strength training workout!
Whether you are strength training or participating in an outdoor activity, stay focused on the amount of water you are taking in and always remain aware of the symptoms of mild to even moderate dehydration so you can resolve dehydration quickly:
- Dry, sticky mouth
- Extreme thirst
- Profuse sweating
- Decreased urine output
- Muscle weakness & cramping
- Dizziness or light-headed symptom
Remember: If you are exercising hard outdoors (such as snow skiing or snow boarding) in a cold & windy environment, you can become dehydrated almost as fast as if you were playing baseball or softball in a hot & humid environment.